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Avoiding Burnout

If you feel exhausted, overworked, and dread going to work, you might be experiencing burnout. Burnout happens when people become fatigued and lose motivation. When burnout occurs, it becomes increasingly difficult to face each workday. You might find yourself dreading work, or even making excuses to avoid going to work. 

Some of the common symptoms of burnout include moodiness, extreme tiredness, suppressed immunity to illness, and a lack of interest in your work. Burnout is especially common among people with high-stress jobs including social workers, teachers, and paramedics. Employee burnout is a major cause of turnover, with many individuals changing careers to escape their stressful jobs. 

What Causes Burnout?

One of the major causes of burnout is overwork. If the expectations of your job are too high or unrealistic, job stress can quickly lead to burnout. One way of avoiding burnout in this instance is to ask your employer to clearly define your role at work and reach an agreement on the specific expectations of your position. 

Another major cause of burnout is a lack of recognition. Toiling away at work each day without receiving positive feedback can be extremely frustrating and stressful. Earning rewards such as accolades, bonuses, or appreciation is one way of avoiding burnout.

Having little control over your job or situation is also another leading cause of burnout. Careers in social services and emergency health care are especially susceptible to this type of burnout, since clients and patients are often in dire situations that you have little control over. Fortunately, there are ways of avoiding burnout that can help you overcome these causes of burnout, stick with your job, and reduce the job stress in your life. 

5 Tips for Avoiding Burnout

1. Take care of your health

Job stress can have a negative impact on your health, so it is important to stay healthy in order to avoid burnout. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are great ways to help deal with stress. If you still find yourself experiencing burnout symptoms, consult a doctor to talk about steps you can take to control your stress levels.

2. Avoid perfectionism

One important way of avoiding burnout involves lowering your expectations. Realize that you cannot do everything. Reward yourself when you do well, but don't punish yourself when things don't work out exactly as you planned. 

3. Ask for help

Sharing the load with others is a highly effective way of avoiding burnout. Think of yourself as part of a team, with each person bringing a unique set of skills, talent, and experience to contribute to the task at hand. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help.

4. Give yourself a break

It is important to give yourself time away from your job. This might mean taking a vacation, or it might simply involve taking the time to participate in hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Go see a film, take a trip, or join a book club to find the relaxation that is vital for avoiding burnout.

5. Take a hard look at your job

Avoiding burnout is impossible if you're ill suited to your job. Do a career assessment to determine if your job is a good fit for your personality, goals, and values. If you decide that it's time for a change, take the time to search for a career that is right for you.